1980s Cartoons: 101 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know

If you were born in the 1970s like me, you probably grew up watching 1980s Cartoons. When I think of all of those TV shows I watched when I was a kid it brings back fond memories and the phrase “they just don’t make them like they used to anymore” pops into my head.



In the 1980s we didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have mobile phones and the computers we worked and played on had very primitive graphical capabilities (if you compare them to the monster PC’s we’re using in the 21st Century).

If you wanted to listen to music, you needed to turn on the radio, buy a walkman/boombox or ask your dad nicely if you can use the record player (without scratching his records) – CD’s only became really popular in the 1990s. If you wanted to watch a movie, you needed to go to an actual cinema or rent the video at your local video shop.

1980s Cartoons

Fact is, the 1980s was a lot less technology driven time. Issues were either black or white. There wasn’t much room for grey areas. I feel that the current generation is spoiled (when it comes to technology and entertainment options). We were not lucky. I’m not jealous though, I’m glad I grew up when I did.

Okay, I’m done enough babbling, are you ready to delve into some nostalgia?

Here are 101 Interesting Facts about 1980s Cartoons:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK) first aired on television in December 1987.

2. 193 episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aired on television between 1987 and 1996.

3. At the time of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ final episode, it was the longest-running cartoon show in American TV history. That record is currently held by The Simpsons (which is still running since 1989).

4. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics were very explicit. In the comics the turtles sliced off heads with blood splattering, they said cuss words and they drank alcohol.

5. The theme song for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show was written in 2 days by Chuck Lore (the creator of The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon and Dennis C. Brown.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 1980s Cartoons

6. James Avery (Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) did the voice of Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show.

7. The catchphrase “Cowabunga” was not scripted for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Townsend Coleman blurted it out in an ad-lib and the studio liked it so much it became Michelangelo‘s catchphrase.

8. The original DuckTales TV series first aired on television in September 1987.

9. 101 episodes of DuckTales aired on television between 1987 and 1990.

10. The 1990s cartoon show, TaleSpin was originally intended to be a spin-off of DuckTales (featuring Launchpad.

DuckTales - 1980s Cartoons

11. Darkwing Duck (the 1990s cartoon show) was inspired by the DuckTales episode “Double O’ Duck”.

12. DuckTales was the first American cartoon to be shown on TV in the Soviet Union. It aired in 1991.

13. Another one of my favorite 1980s Cartoons, ThunderCats first aired on television in 1985.

14. ThunderCats was animated in Japan, but produced, written and voice-overed in the USA.

15. 130 episodes of ThunderCats aired on television between 1985 and 1989.

ThunderCats - 1980s Cartoons

16. The first season of ThunderCats was actually completed in 1983, but was not publicly shown until two years later.

17. It’s highly likely that ThunderCats was inspired by a Japanese folklore about half-human, half-animal creatures known as “raiju” (which translates into “thunder beast.”).

18. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe first aired on television in the USA in September 1983.

19. The original He-Man figurine was released by Mattel in 1982. Filmation Animation studios developed the backstory for the toy line.

20. 130 episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe aired on television between 1983 and 1985.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ashley

    “I am the terror that flaps in the night!” I loved Darkwing Duck. Some forgotten cartoons on this list. Thanks for the nostalgic trip.

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